Sutton on Hayek, Constitutionalism, and Technology

October 26th, 2013

This year, Judge Jeff Sutton gave the Hayek Lecture at NYU. Here is a sample of his remarks:

In his lecture, “Courts, Rights, and New Technology: Judging in an Ever-Changing World,” Sutton recounted that Hayek, despite his support among libertarians, actually admired federalism. Hayek favored the use of judicial review and a judicially enforceable Bill of Rights to restrain legislatures, including the courts’ safeguarding of unenumerated rights under the Ninth Amendment.

“There’s one context in which Hayek probably thought that robust judicial involvement is an especially good idea: the context of new technology,” said Sutton. “No enumeration of rights can fully anticipate the science of the future. New technology provides new domains for good or ill.”

I have long found fascinating Hayek’s views on constitutionalism, especial in Law, Legislation, & Liberty.

Elsewhere, I have blogged about the relationship between Federalist No. 10 and public choice theory–that the structure of our federalist republic is aimed at diminishing the effects of rent seeking (what Madison would have called factions). At some point I plan on writing a more in depth analysis of this topic.